Bay Area Education Center
So excited Deborah Newlen is directing this school. My daughter Margot spent two crucial years at Deborah's school, which allowed her to transition from an oppressing and stifling education environment in Berkeley to blossoming into a self-confident teenager who had a chance to reflect on her strengths, open up her personal world, and ended up finding math and singing to be her passions, loved high school, excelled and got accepted at Cal and graduated a happy young woman. As parents who were very involved, my husband and I also benefited from the school's philosophy of accepting who we are unconditionally, thus nourishing a strong sense of self, of confidence and courage in a exceptionally supportive community. I wish schools like this existed 40 years ago for ourselves!
I feel compelled to support Bay Area Education Center (BAEC) as I have seen first hand what the teaching can do for our children.
My daughter was an unengaged, reluctant student. She was not inspired by the “education” that was standard fare. We were introduced to Deborah Newlen as a language arts teacher and my daughter’s attitude about herself and her abilities began to change. Deborah offered a new approach that focussed on bringing out the best in my teen. They worked together on understanding the required reading, with Deborah teasing out the important parts of the text and modeling way to write with understanding and depth. When my daughter got off track and wandered off, she was redirected. The analysis: “This is a beautifully written paragraph that has wonderful language and really captures the idea but… it doesn’t state on topic and support your thesis. If you were to write a paper on this book with another thesis, you could use this. Let’s set it aside and work toward finding another quote and write a new paragraph that supports your original thought.”
Meeting my student in a positive way, pulling out her ideas and helping her shape her thinking into her own writing voice gave my daughter confidence and encouragement. she began to see that she could really express herself through her writing. I believe that the boost she received through the BAEC teaching methods and philosophies was the crucial change that put her on the path to self-confidence and success. The idea that with encouragement, guidance and the right support she would be able to fly on her own. It has proven true and we could not be more thankful for the BAEC providing all that and more.